Happy 2011 everyone! I’m excited about the new year and can’t wait to see how the mobile market continues its evolution.
I was back home in Vancouver for the holidays and spent a good chunk of time reading, especially trying to clean out my blog reader that had “1000+” for every category. I powered through fascinating articles about mobile growth, usage, and trends. Rumors of new handsets expected this year. And, enjoyed discussions and hypothesis of what we can expect in 2011. The general consensus seems to be that Android is taking over the world, Apple will be Apple, and RIM leaves us scratching our heads. I came across a few articles that provided contrarian viewpoints, but the bulk of analysis pointed in the same direction. By the time New Year’s came around, I felt like I had a good grasp on what’s going to happen in 2011. Well.. that was until Jeff Yee (Aumnia’s head of engineering) sent me an email from Vancouver about his OBSERVATIONS during the holidays. Here’s a direct cut & paste of what he sent me…
“One thing that I found interesting was that BlackBerry users tend to stick together and I think it is because of the BlackBerry messenger app. If your friends use BlackBerry, there is a high probability that you will also use a BlackBerry. Because everyone in the group is using BlackBerry messenger to chat.
During the holidays, I went to a party with about 20 people. Almost everyone had a BlackBerry. Only 1 iPhone in the crowd. I was surprised. Then I went to another party with a completely different group of friends. And most of them had iPhones, a few BlackBerrys. What was even more surprising was that no one I ran into in the past 2 weeks had Android.
And then there is another group of friends with BlackBerry and iPhones, but they have no data plans. They only use it for voice and SMS.
And then there is my uncle. He has a BlackBerry but has no idea what that is and could care less. He only uses it to make phone calls because the phone was free, no data plan.”
As you can read, the email is pretty simple. But I believe Jeff’s observations have serious underlying statements. Is our perception of the mobile market simply dictated by our circle of influence? Do consumers really know (or care) about the differences in mobile platforms? We’re still in the early adoption phase for data plans, so when will mass market adoption occur? So much for all the reading and analysis I did over the holidays. Jeff’s harmless observations kicked up a bunch of questions in my head that I can’t wait to explore this year. If you have an opinion, let’s here it.